In On the Market by Clyde Mooney

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The partners behind RDP Resorts are selling up to call it a day, listing the big Molly Malone’s with development potential in fast-growing Townsville.

The Irish-themed Molly Malone’s is a striking two-level brick Hotel with a full-length wrapped veranda overlooking both its frontages, on Wickham Street, and Townsville’s party strip, Finders Street.

The landmark building was built in 1901 and has been on the Queensland heritage list since before its reinvention as an Irish pub back in 1999, following its time as the Tattersalls Hotel.

Molly Mallone’s with artist impression of The Hive in the background

It resides on the only title on the entire block not owned by Brisbane developers the Gleeson family, now building a massive commercial, retail and accommodation development to be known as The Hive that will reach 14 storeys. Approval was finally secured from Townsville Council late 2017, and construction will begin shortly.

Molly Malone’s’ 1,472sqm block also holds development potential on the land not occupied by the pub, including an older building not holding heritage protection. Molly incorporates a craft beer lounge, nightclub, beer garden, first floor function space, commercial kitchen and strong f&b operation, but no gaming.

Revenue for 2017 was around $1.76m with net profit just over $200k, but the period saw the popular nightclub closed for three months under renovation.

RDP has held the asset since 2003, operating it under management. The area is currently one of the hot tickets in Queensland real estate and the veteran partners have opted to divest their holdings.

“We’ve got other properties and just decided to sell everything and retire,” RDP director Mark Hain told PubTIC.

Now in their 60s, the Hains have been back working with the hotel prior to its sale.

“My wife and I are here looking after all the properties in Townsville, and we’re ready to give it all up.”

The partners have engaged Resort Brokers’ Des Fagg to market the property, which holds a 3am licence and considerable upside in opening longer hours.

“It needs fresh blood in there and updating,” suggests Fagg. “It’s a holding asset; it will increase in value once the high-rises go up beside it.”

The freehold going concern of Molly Malone’s is for sale with an asking price of $1.75m, representing an 11.7 per cent return.